Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta’s place amongst all-time team greats

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs /

Here’s how I broke down the list

But after Jenkins, there’s no avoiding some ranking being eye-of-the-beholder stuff. Here’s how I fell:

1. Jenkins, 1971
2. Maddux, 1992
3. Arrieta, 2015
4. Ellsworth, 1963
5. Werneke, 1932
6. Reuschel, 1977
7. Lee, 1938
8. Sutter, 1977
9. Sutcliffe, 1984

I slotted Maddux’s 1992 ahead of Arrieta’s 2015 largely because Maddux’s 39-inning edge – the equivalent of five more Arrieta starts. Plus Maddux faced more than 27 batters in 25 different starts that year. That means he actually needed to game plan facing the team’s best hitters four times a game.

By comparison, Arrieta exceeded 27 batters just 10 times. So in terms of degree of difficulty, the edge goes to Maddux’s season.

That said, I weighted Arrieta ahead of Ellsworth despite the latter’s 61-inning advantage. This reflects Arrieta pitching in a playoff environment most of the season, whereas the 1963 Cubs were largely a .500 team throughout.